Sleep therapy covers a range of therapeutic treatments for sleep related breathing disorders. At Michigan Sleep Therapy we specialize in Oral Appliance Therapy, sometimes called Dental Sleep Medicine, to treat sleep-related breathing disorders like Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome. Other types of sleep therapy include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), surgery, positional therapy and behavioral changes such as weight loss or abstaining from alcohol.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is an alarmingly common sleep disorder affecting an estimated 1 in 5 adults*, with as many as 80% of cases undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. Patients with Sleep Apnea stop breathing during sleep, sometimes many times per night or hour, leading to frequent interruptions in oxygen flow and consequently the sleep cycle and sleep fragmentation. Common symptoms include snoring, waking up tired, lack of energy and grogginess or brain fog. Left untreated, OSA can have potentially life-threatening consequences, contributing to heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer's disease.
Snoring is caused when the airway partially collapses during sleep and soft tissues in the back of the neck vibrate during respiration. This can cause loud noises during sleep, sometimes loud enough to wake partners or even sleepers. Snoring can also be the most noticeable sign that there are airway issues affecting sleep.
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) is a similar condition to Obstructive Sleep Apnea but with lower thresholds for airway resistance. Whereas sleep apnea involves blockage of the airway leading to arousal, UARS is a restriction of the airway that reduces oxygen flow during sleep. While not as severe as OSA, the symptoms and consequences can be similar: snoring, waking up tired, increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.
OSA, UARS and snoring are widespread health problem, with potentially life-threatening consequences when left untreated. For these reasons it is crucial that anyone experiencing symptoms be screened and tested. Intervening early can prevent progression of the disease and improve overall health, reducing other problems.
*1.Young T, Skatrud J, Peppard PE. Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea in adults. JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association. 2004 Apr 28;291(16):2013–2016.